NFC for Mobile Payments Won’t Catch on Until 2015

NFC technology has come a long way since its inception in 1983 with the RFID patent, but it seems marketers have not yet caught on to its full potential.

A recent study by Gartner found that whilst mobile payments are growing and transactions are likely to surpass $171.5 billion this year, NFC transactions are not expected to rise at the same rate, and may actually remain fairly static until 2015.

The suspected reasons for this are that NFC technology requires two things which typically take a long time to develop:

1) A change in user behaviour

Users are not used to using their phone for paying for things in the real world. Although in theory it makes sense, since most people always have their phones on them and it means one less thing to worry about losing, there is still a lot of distrust around the security of mobile payments which discourages people from adopting it. Even when trust of the technology improves, there will still be a large amount of people who simply do not feel the need to change the way they pay for things- if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

2) Banks, mobile carriers, card networks and merchants to collaborate

Whilst NFC technology is popping up on poster sites everywhere, it is not yet widespread in terms of mobile payments. To expand, NFC needs to be adopted by merchants, banks, card networks etc. which is currently not happening quick enough.

Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta, states “The U.S. will take more time and we probably won’t see strong adoption until the iPhone implements the technology.”  If Apple start to use NFC we can almost guarantee that its usage will spread rapidly, however some sources say that NFC will not be incorporated until the 6th generation of the iPhone, which could leave us waiting at least another year.

Have you used NFC to pay for something on your mobile? How was the experience? will you be likely to adopt the technology soon? Let us know in the comments.

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